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Posts Tagged ‘base redevelopment/environmental cleanup’

Carter Testimony Highlights BRAC Successes

  • March 8, 2015
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The 19-page testimony on DOD’s fiscal 2016 budget request that Secretary Ashton Carter submitted to two congressional committees last week argued for a BRAC round in 2017, but it also included a nod to several communities that have successfully recovered from a base closure. The justification for a new round is clear, Carter says. “Simply put, we have more bases in more places than we need. We estimate DOD has about 25 percent more infrastructure capacity than necessary,” according to his written testimony. “We must be permitted to divest surplus infrastructure as we reduce and renew force structure. With projected recurring savings from a new BRAC round totaling some $2 billion a year, it would be irresponsible to cut tooth without also cutting tail …

SouthField Developer Woos Lawmakers to Fund Parkway Extension

  • March 1, 2015
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Eight Massachusetts state senators toured the former Naval Air Station South Weymouth last week as part of an effort by master developer Starwood Land Ventures to attract state money for a new route to access its SouthField reuse project. The road would complete the 2.75-mile William Delahunt Parkway. That road’s first phase opened in August 2013 at a cost of $42.5 million, providing access to SouthField from Rockland, which lies east of the former air station. The second phase would extend the parkway to the western side of the project. Providing more direct access to SouthField is the key to jump starting commercial development, Starwood Vice President Matthew Barry told the lawmakers Feb. 25 …

Texas Lawmakers Advance Measure to Bolster Support for Defense Communities

  • February 26, 2015
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Texas would be able to provide more financial assistance to communities trying to support a neighboring military installation or cope with a downsizing, under legislation moving in the state Senate. On Wednesday, the Veterans Affairs and Military Installations Committee passed a bill raising the cap on grants from the Defense Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant program from $2 million to $5 million, reported the San Antonio Express-News. Senate Bill 318 now heads to the full Senate for consideration. The cap needs to be higher because of Texas’ population growth since the program was created in 1997, said state Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D), the bill’s author. It also would help Texas compete with other states fighting to preserve their military bases …

Navy Agrees to Cover Cost of Filtering Water outside Closed Philadelphia-Area Bases

  • February 25, 2015
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The Navy could spend up to $12 million to filter contaminated drinking water near two former installations in suburban Philadelphia, Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove and Naval Air Warfare Center Warminster, after elevated levels of perfluorinated chemicals were found last year in the wells of several nearby towns. The Navy signed an agreement with the Warminster Municipal Authority to install a carbon filtration system on three contaminated wells in the city. Horsham has asked the Navy for a similar system for five of its wells. Warrington has not yet developed a plan for addressing contamination in three of its wells, reported the Philadelphia Inquirer. Until the filters are in place, the three municipalities will continue buying water from neighboring towns, according to the story. The Navy has agreed to pay for cleanup costs but the Environmental Protection Agency is investigating whether there are other sources for the contamination, which stems from industrial products such as firefighting foam.

Brooks City Base to Honor Its Past through Restoration Projects

  • February 23, 2015
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Brooks City Base is undertaking two projects to help celebrate the nearly 100-year history of Brooks Field — a $560,000 restoration of the burial site of its namesake and a $2.5 million restoration of one of the facility’s original hangars. “This space is special, not just to Brooks and to San Antonio, but really to the entire United States, because of its significance with World War I,” said Leo Gomez, president and CEO of Brooks Development Authority. On Nov. 13, 1917, at the age of 22, Sidney Brooks Jr. crashed and died on final approach to Kelly Field No. 2 in San Antonio as he neared the completion of his pilot training. The Army broke ground on a new facility less than a month later, and renamed it after him on Feb. 4, 1918 …

Monterey Residents Take Advantage of Opportunity to Reimagine Fort Ord

  • February 22, 2015
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During a two-week planning process this month, about 1,200 people from California’s Monterey Peninsula offered their input to guide development at the former Fort Ord. The series of public meetings were held to collect ideas for regional urban design guidelines the Fort Ord Reuse Authority is creating to establish standards for road design, setbacks, building height, landscaping, signage, and other matters of visual importance. The guidelines will be used in conjunction with the base reuse plan but are not a code or standard that is a legally binding requirement needed to develop a project at Fort Ord, reported the Monterey Herald. FORA Executive Officer Michael Houlemard said the guidelines’ addition to the reuse plan will cut through legal confusion …

Concord Residents Learn about Competing Proposals for Naval Weapons Station

  • February 12, 2015
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The three firms competing to become the master developer for the former Concord Naval Weapons Station in northern California this week presented their visions for converting the base to a new community with housing, shopping, offices and parks. Concord Mayor Tim Grayson stressed the need to integrate the new development with existing neighborhoods, reported the San Jose Mercury News. The Concord Reuse Project Area Plan, which the city adopted in 2012, calls for building up to 12,272 housing units and 6.1 million square feet of commercial space on about 2,300 acres near the North Concord/Martinez BART station, with about 70 percent of the site preserved as parkland or open space …

Environmental Issues May Delay Ft. McPherson Sale

  • February 12, 2015
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The sale of 330 acres at the former Fort McPherson to filmmaker Tyler Perry for a movie studio is likely to be delayed due to minor environmental issues covering about 36 acres at the property located on the southwest edge of Atlanta. Until the issues raised by the Army regarding four parcels on the 488-acre site have been resolved, the closing — which had been set tentatively for the end of February — will need to be postponed, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. At a community briefing on Wednesday, Brian Hooker, executive director of the McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority, assured residents the issues are minor, primarily involving documentation, and do not signal that additional cleanup will be required …

Lawmakers Criticize Navy for Delays in Transferring NAS Willow Grove

  • February 9, 2015
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Two congressmen from Philadelphia’s northern suburbs last week called on the Navy to transfer former Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove to the community in a timely manner as repeated delays are threatening to jeopardize the community’s prospects for turning the installation into a mixed-used development anchored by a town center. Reps. Patrick Meehan and Brendan Boyle said delays conveying the 862-acre base were hindering the reuse project’s ability to attract real estate and business investment, and hampering local planning for school and transportation needs, reported the Philadelphia Inquirer. “We’re now 10 years into” the base’s decommissioning, said Meehan. “You’re leaving the local redevelopment authority in a very difficult position of having to make calculations … on all of the other issues that are impacted by that …

State Designates Ft. Monmouth as Quarantine Center, Raising Questions from Local Officials

  • February 5, 2015
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State lawmakers and local officials on the board of the Fort Monmouth LRA are wondering how the closed installation was selected by New Jersey to serve as the backup quarantine center for travelers flying to Newark Liberty International Airport from West Africa who may have been exposed to the deadly Ebola virus. The Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority was not consulted before the state reached a six-month agreement with the Army to quarantine travelers at the post who are at risk of contracting Ebola but have not yet displayed symptoms, reported the Asbury Park Press. “This lease was imposed on [the authority] by the executive branch and was not vetted at a public meeting or voted on by the entire board,” according to a statement from Monmouth County Freehold Lillian Burry and the mayors of the three towns that surround Fort Monmouth …

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